Friday, May 03, 2013

Major Warbler Influx!

Palm Warbler

It's only May 3rd, but already I've spotted 25 warbler species at Pheasant Branch Conservancy. The big push of migrants that began Monday night continued for a couple of days, coinciding with strong south winds until a cold front came through. With the exception of a few warm days, we're still experiencing colder than normal temperatures. Once again it's cold and rainy. But now the weather is forcing newly arrived warblers from the treetops down to the ground. Such conditions are great for birders who desire spectacular close-up views, but the birds are working extra hard to find food.

Here are the warbler species I've observed so far this spring:

Louisiana Waterthrush
Northern Waterthrush
Blue-winged Warbler
Golden-winged Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
Prothonotary Warbler
Tennessee Warbler
Orange-crowned Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Hooded Warbler
American Redstart
Cape May Warbler
Northern Parula
Magnolia Warbler
Bay-breasted Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Palm Warbler
Pine Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler

Warblers and other songbirds are arriving earlier than I've previously recorded at the conservancy. In fact, my April count of 123 species beat my previous high tally of 113 set in 2011. The April 30th influx put me over the top. Yellow-rumped Warblers are arriving in northern Wisconsin and Minnesota where there is still a foot of snow on the ground. What are some of them eating? Check out this video taken by Peter Nichols for the answer:

Palm Warbler © 2013 Mike McDowell

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